4th of July!
Trip Start Aug 30, 2009
13Trip End Apr 28, 2011
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Very short into the trivia portion of our morning people started standing up, about 7-8mins into the trivia I would say. We all looked around completely unconvinced that the runners were already on their way to the finish line because honestly that seemed impossible. However, to our surprise, one of the local Senegalese was sprinting his way to the finish line after about 8mins, meaning that he ran about a 4min mile, which makes me hurt just thinking about it. Not long after, the rest of the runners started to filter in, including one of our own volunteers who came in with great time considering his competition. This was probably the highlight of the weekend for me since it was actually the first time I had seen volunteers and Senegalese participate in the same activity so whole-heartedly.
The rest of the weekend was great. Starting around 12-1pm that afternoon, we walked over to the regional house where people were preparing food, American music was blasting, and beer was flowing freely. In addition to the beer, there were a few local drinks including honey wine and bissap juice with gin (bissap is a delicious juice made from flowers that every volunteers is now addicted to). We played beer pong, sang patriotic songs, and danced, like true Americans should. The funny thing about all of this is I think many volunteers never considered themselves overly patriotic before coming to Senegal; however, this country will make one appreciate the amazing things American has to offer. I certainly value many of America’s niceties way more than I ever did before, and I think many volunteers agree
After returning to site from Kedagou, I only had a few days before we ventured to the great capital city of Dakar for a few days, and then back to Thies for 2 weeks of technical training. Dakar is an amazing place that actually has a grocery store, restaurants with a variety of food choices, an “American” club with a pool for all the ex-pats where we get in free, and many other amazing things that are too numerous to list. Then on to training in Thies. This portion of training will be devoted less to language and more to the actual skills we will need to be successful volunteers….thank you! More updates to come soon.